The Parade We’re All In
By Justin Talbert
In 2020, my wife and I purchased season passes to Silver Dollar City in Missouri.
That was a lot of fun. Not. With social distancing, all theme parks were closed down.
Our family loves Silver Dollar City for numerous reasons, but topping the list are the parades. We maneuver our schedule and strollers to see every single one. Something about the celebration, liveliness, colors, and music makes the kiddos irrepressibly giddy.
I think my soul resonates with these parades because I’m in one. All Christians are. The Apostle Paul pulls back the curtain on our Christian lives in 2 Corinthians 2:14: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of him everywhere.”
Right now—yes, right now—in vibrant array, Jesus is parading you around this world. Your workplace, grocery store, kid’s soccer practice, home, and even marriage. And He does so with a purpose: to spread His fragrance, His culture, to others … through you.
What’s this mean for marriage?
Jesus is using you to elevate His glory by transforming you into a spouse that feels (or, following the biblical wording, smells) like Jesus to be around. In other words, Jesus’ desire and labor is for you to so closely resemble Him that when your spouse is around you, it’s like they’re around Jesus.
God’s ideal is an impossible task with a parade of motley humans. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t called to it! As spouses, we are to radiate the very culture—or fragrance—of Jesus Himself.
He longs to help us. Ask Him.
The beauty and liveliness of that kind of marriage will dim the glory of any parade—even Silver Dollar City’s!
The Good Stuff: But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God. (2 Corinthians 2:14-17)
Action Steps: As you ask Jesus for help in this momentous journey, bring to Him your most obvious flaws. That is, confess where you know you’re not acting like Jesus and take simple, yet radical steps to see it changed.
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